Masthead: Politics reign in wake of Scalia’s death

Full Staff Opinion

Since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death this Saturday, there has been an unsurprising outpouring of politically-motivated discourse from both sides of the aisle. Between President Obama’s assertion that a year is enough time to nominate and appoint a new SCOTUS, and the GOP’s overwhelmingly blunt threats to block any nomination from Obama, it seems that our country’s leaders have chosen to prioritize angling for their own political benefit over carrying out the duties that they were elected to perform–namely, the upholding of the Constitution. Depending on your level of political cynicism, this may or may not come as a surprise. However, what we at the Reporter found disheartening is how the current and potential future leaders of our country have blatantly and unabashedly announced their plans to keep this very important decision in gridlock. Mitch McConnell has openly acknowledged that he plans to block the appointment of a new justice until the next president is elected, with the justification that the “American people deserve a say.” Donald Trump also recently chimed in with some genius, advising Congress to “Delay, delay, delay.” 

Politics aside, here’s the truth: the Supreme Court of the United States needs a ninth justice. After all, many important cases in 2015 were decided 5 to 4, including decisions regarding same sex marriage, environmental regulations, race relations, and issues of free speech. A year is simply too long to go without a ninth, tie-breaking justice on the bench. It is Congress’s Constitutionally-mandated duty to approve a justice, and it is infuriating that so many congressmen aren’t even bothering to pretend doing so is their intention. Appointing a justice isn’t a matter of politics; it’s a matter of procedure. From The College Reporter to Congress, we humbly offer this piece of advice: do your job.

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